Evolving your customer lifecycle from seconds to lifetimes

Peter Drucker once articulated the essence of business: “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” It’s a well-established notion in marketing that retaining existing customers can be more profitable than constantly seeking new ones. Yet, to achieve rapid growth, the influx of new customers is indispensable.

New versus existing customers 

This presents a dichotomy, as nurturing new versus existing customers demands distinct talents and strategies. For instance, the approach to cold calling diverges sharply from managing relationship crises, and the excitement of discovery contrasts with the stability of predictability. However, common threads exist in both realms: a profound understanding of what drives your customers and the undeniable value of active listening.

Visual representation of the customer journey

There’s a wealth of visuals out there illustrating the journey from initially grabbing the attention of your prospective customers to cultivating a long-term relationship grounded in deep, mutual trust. I have a particular fondness for this depiction. Progress along this continuum relies on consistently exceeding customer expectations. Transparency and swift action are crucial in the face of setbacks.

Customer life cycle

Making the case for customer retention

Should you ever question the balance of effort and investment between customer acquisition and retention, consider these statistics:

– Acquiring a new customer is 6-7 times costlier than retaining an existing one. – ThinkJar

– The likelihood of a sale to an existing customer can be up to 14 times higher than that to a new prospect. – Marketing Metrics

– Given a positive customer experience, 73% of consumers will advocate for a brand, and 46% will place unmatched trust in its offerings. – SDL Global CX

However, the optimal focus of your sales and marketing efforts is not cut and dry, heavily influenced by your strategic market positioning. Factors such as market maturity, competitive landscape, and the uniqueness of your offering play pivotal roles.

Key insights from the field

From my own journey, I’ve gleaned the following:

– Anchor your efforts in a well-defined strategy, maintaining clarity and consistency.

– Attain a profound understanding of your market, delving into the intricacies of both existing and prospective customers, down to the minutiae of individual preferences and the broader dynamics that dictate your customers’ success.

– Be ruthlessly honest in identifying your unique value proposition.

– Fostering loyalty with your current customer base is not only fulfilling but also financially advantageous.

– Customer turnover is a critical gauge of enduring success.

– Attracting new customers and enriching existing relationships necessitate divergent sales techniques, marketing strategies, and possibly supply chain adjustments.

– In long-term partnerships, mistakes are inevitable. Openness and thoughtful response are key to fortifying bonds. With shared visions, even significant challenges can strengthen connections.

Want to know more?

Keen to delve deeper or discuss your unique situation? Reach out at Peter.Gommers@peter4strategy.com or +31-6-53361249 and let’s explore how we can extend your customer lifecycle, enhancing loyalty and driving sustainable growth.

Inspired, but not facing a concrete challenge right now? Let’s connect on LinkedIn to stay in touch and share valuable insights.